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Tech review: These apps are worthwhile trivial pursuits

Jeopardy! World Tour features a Jeopardy-like experience in

Jeopardy! World Tour features a Jeopardy-like experience in which players choose the correct question to a provided answer. Unlike the TV version, here players choose the correct question from a multiple-choice list of possibilities. Credit: Sony Pictures Television

There’s nothing trivial about trivia. Whether as part of TV game shows or computer programs, it is popular. These four trivia apps straddle the line between educational tools and games, but all are fun and informative.

HQ Trivia

(iOS, Android; free)

A live game show you play on your app, HQ Trivia is now in its sixth season, which began Sept. 6. The game is held daily at 9 p.m., when you get to answer a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. If you get all the answers right, you receive a cash award, although it may not be much depending upon how many other winners there are. As the game has grown in popularity, however, users are complaining about glitches and lags.

Jeopardy! World Tour

(iOS, Android; free)

This mobile spinoff of the undisputed king of television trivia games features a Jeopardy-like experience in which you choose the correct question to a provided answer. The game board is similar to the one you see on TV, although with fewer categories. And unlike the TV version, you choose the correct question from a multiple-choice list of three possibilities. There’s an offline mode, so you can play without an internet connection.


(iOS, Android; free)

QuizUp is a trivia game that also branches out to become a social network in which you compete against and become friends with others who share your interests. You can choose from thousands of topics, so there’s bound to be a few that cover your area of expertise. You play against live opponents with whom you can connect after the game to congratulate, or perhaps taunt.

Trivia Crack

(iOS, Android; free)

Another popular trivia game with more than 100 million downloads worldwide, Trivia Crack features games with six areas of topics. You spin a wheel to decide which of the categories you will tackle. In the main game, you’re competing against others, but you can also choose single-player mode in which you answer a stream of rapid-fire questions. Unfortunately, the ads in the game, which appear every time you get an answer wrong, are intrusive.

Field of streams

Revenue from streaming music services rose 26 percent to $4.3 billion in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Meanwhile, music CDs sales were virtually unchanged at $248 million. But sales of vinyl records rose 13 percent to $224 million. If this trend continues, vinyl sales will soon surpass CD sales for the first time since 1986.


Widening tech skills gap

The skills gap between what employers need and what employees offer is widening. IBM says 120 million workers worldwide may need to be retrained because of intelligent automation and artificial intelligence. Also changing is the skills requirement for new workers. Three years ago, basic computer skill was the No. 1 requirement for new workers. Today, it is “willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change,” IBM says.


Apple disputes malware report

Apple challenged a Google security report that described an iPhone malware attack as “en masse.” Apple said the attack, which used malware to target iPhone users who visited certain websites, was limited to “fewer than a dozen websites” and the attacks were in place for “roughly two months, not ‘two years’ as Google implies.” Google responded by saying it stands by its research.


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